1984 - County reeled from StorageTek bankruptcy
Three weeks later, on Halloween, the company filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. When the dust settled a few months later, StorageTek was about 5,000 workers lighter in Boulder County and working to dig itself out of horrendous debt.
The job cuts sent Louisville reeling. Cars streamed out of the plant and throngs of former employees literally cried in their beer at Pasquales bar and pizzeria on Main Street.
The bankruptcy filing left 1,200 Boulder County businesses sitting on outstanding accounts from the county’s data storage giant.
StorageTek had been on the fast track since the early 1980s and was burning money. It was trying to develop an intermediate mainframe computer and an innovative optical-disk storage product — and it was going head to head with IBM, which had lowered its prices on competing data-storage products, undercutting StorageTek.
By October, the company had lost money for four consecutive quarters. When the job cuts were announced, Chairman and Chief Executive Jesse Aweida, who founded the company in 1969 with other legendary ex-IBMers Juan Rodriguez, Tom Kavanugh and Zoltan Herger, estimated losses in the next reporting quarter would exceed $20 million.
Analysts began calling for the company, or at least portions of it, to be sold off. The company’s stock, which had been trading as high as $40 a share in the early 1980s, hit rock bottom in November at about $2 a share. Aweida resigned as CEO in November and as chairman in December.
Ultimately, StorageTek emerged successful from bankruptcy and its years of troubles. It was purchased by Sun Microsystems, Inc. in 2005, and Sun was acquired by Oracle Corp. in 2009.